5 Reasons Apple Customers Should Give Thanks

As the U.S. pauses to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 27, we've prepared a healthy serving of specialized content for the holiday. Today's edition: Five reasons Apple customers should give thanks this holiday season.

5. Tim Cook is Not Steve Jobs: Different eras call for different types of leaders. As one former Apple employee recently told The Wall Street Journal, Steve Jobs was a wartime CEO, and Tim Cook is a peacetime CEO. What does that mean? Jobs had to circle the wagons, kill off many Apple projects, and focus like a ruthless leader to help Apple push beyond its PC niche into the digital consumer market (iPods, iPhones, iPads, iTunes, etc.). In stark contrast, Cook is partnering up -- with the likes of IBM, among others -- to help better serve Apple's now massive customer base.

4. About That IBM Deal: When Apple and IBM inked an enterprise partnership in July 2014, we all knew IBM would develop corporate apps for iPhones and iPads. But even I was surprised to see how quickly Apple launched AppleCare for Enterprise -- featuring IBM offering all types of Apple-centric support for IT departments. 

3. Healthy Focus: It's still early in the digital fitness market, but the Apple HealthKit SDK should be here any day now. In fact, it may already be shipping by the time you read this (confession: I wrote this blog on Nov. 17, ahead of my own extended Thanksgiving holiday). If everything goes as planned, Apple should give Microsoft and Google plenty of competition in the fitness app market -- empowering software developers to cash in on the market, too.

2. Watch What's Coming: It ain't here yet. In fact, Apple Watch apparently won't arrive until Spring of 2015. But the early hype from pundits like Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs' biographer) sounds promising. As Isaacson put it, "I think the Apple Watch is extraordinarily cool." That doesn't mean Apple Watch will sell, nor does it guarantee the smartwatch will work as advertised. But finally -- five years after the iPad launch in 2010 -- Apple will push into a new market segment with Watch.

1. Apple Pay: Amid some vendor pushback, some bugs and lots of debate, Apple Pay still sounds like the most secure, most intuitive, most hassle-free mobile payment platform for consumers. Forrester Research predicts the mobile payments market will reach $142 billion by 2019. A lot of that momentum, Forrester predicts, will involve Apple Pay...

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